CMI rapid printing with metal

CMI Unique Facility: Bulk Combinatoric Materials Synthesis Facility

The Bulk Combinatoric Materials Synthesis Facility is one of more than a dozen unique facilities developed by the Critical Materials Institute, an Energy Innovation Hub of the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Combinatoric studies of materials involve the creation of samples with varying composition, allowing the researcher to find the optimum combination of elements to produce a desired set of properties. The method has been pursued extensively using thin-film techniques, but some properties – magnetism being a prominent example – are profoundly altered if the material is in the form of a thin film.
  • CMI researchers at the Ames Laboratory have adapted an additive manufacturing tool (sometimes known as a “3-D printer”) to produce arrays of bulk specimens of controlled composition, under computer control. Combined with rapid analysis tools, this will enable high-throughput searches for alternatives to critical materials.
  • This facility primarily supports the efforts of developing substitutes and has potential uses in crosscutting research, and it addresses the grand challenge of accelerating the development of new materials.
  • For more information on using the bulk combinatoric materials synthesis facility, contact Ryan Ott at the Ames Laboratory, at or 515-294-3616.